Friday, February 6, 2009
If you haven't seen it yet, "Nanny 911" is a reality show featuring British nannies who spend a week with a family with unruly children, trying to bring order to things.
It is absolutely amazing to me how clueless the parents are in this show. In some cases, the dad is the clueless one; in others, the mom. Often it is both. Peering in to these homes is like watching hell on earth: kids shrieking, smashing things, biting, kicking, and parents acting, in many cases, far less intelligently than their own toddlers.
What's funny is my kids will sit and watch this show for hours. They've never seen kids like that. We even ended up making up our own "Nanny 911" game, where I roll up a newspaper (so it's sort of floppy), and then I start snarling and drawling with a Bible Belt twang like the clueless parents on the show, and the kids start running around screaming, and I run after them trying to swat them with the rolled up newspaper. The cool thing is that because it's loosely rolled, it doesn't hurt at all, but it does make a giant "thwack!" sound. And the more I run after them, the more they scream and run around laughing and pretending to be the outrageous brats on the actual TV show.
I am not, and never have been, really capable of understanding why any adult would allow a three year old to bite them, kick them, and in effect, completely dominate them. Why have kids if you're going to have a miserable time with them? Why become a slave to anyone, let alone a three year old? The whole point of having children is to have a great time with them, establish and enjoy those intimate bonds of love and connection with them, and prepare them for responsible adulthood. That preparation means having fair, sensible expectations, articulating them effectively, and then holding children accountable for their decisions. My previous two sentences are really the whole key to parenting, I think.
Anyway, maybe I shouldn't judge the parents on "Nanny 911". No doubt they are doing the best they can...still, I just don't...get it.